The rise in the percentage of recycled material in paper is blamed for the recent move to redesign the common staple to create ‘Super-Staples’. More recycled material amounts in a paper that it tougher than pure pulp, says Roger Tasco, leading Technical Expert at Sawmill Papers in Hampshire, England.
“Recycled paper has come a long way: the microscopic inclusions are smaller and fewer than they used to be. You can’t really feel the difference with your hand, but to a staple it’s like passing through smooth peanut butter versus crunchy. It used to be that you could safely staple ten pages with a number 56, now that number has dropped to nine or even eight. This means more jams, more wasted staples and paper.”
Rather than forcing stationery users to upgrade their staplers to hold larger, stronger staples, Roger is behind a nationwide move compelling staple manufacturers to change the design of staples.
“We’ve found that small alterations in the manufacturing process, say by using a few microns more steel per unit and honing the tips to a razor-sharp point brings the staples back into line with their expected capabilities. And, of course, non-recycled paper doesn’t stand a chance!”
But Roger is not content to stop there. He proposes that the archaic design of staples can be vastly improved, with ideas including angled barbs, fluted and channeled shafts, a beveled top edges.
Regarding his thoughts on these new Super-Staples’ he says, “They (Super-Staples) would be good for the stationery industry as a whole, only these puppies will have to come with a safety warning. They’ll be downright deadly.”